David W. Hoeppner, a long-time faculty member and former department chair of the University of Utah’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, passed away on Feb. 18th. He was 86 years old.

Hoeppner was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin in 1935. He received a B.S.M.E in 1958 from Marquette University, followed by an M.S. in metallurgical engineering in 1960, and a Ph.D. in 1963 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After finishing his degrees, Hoeppner went on to work in the aeronautical and aerospace industries at Battelle Memorial Inst. and Lockheed, before becoming a professor of engineering at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1974. In 1978 he went on to join the University of Toronto, Ontario.

In 1985 Hoeppner joined the University of Utah as a professor in mechanical engineering, and served as the department chair from 1985 to 1992. His lab, the Quality and Integrity Design Engineering Center worked on structural integrity methods to improve reliability and quality of structures used in various applications, including work on gas turbines, airframe materials, artificial hearts, ventricular assist devices, controls for pacemakers, and orthopedic implants. He also worked on experimental and analytical modeling of the behavior of structural materials in fatigue, corrosion, corrosion fatigue, and fretting fatigue.

In addition to his research, Hoeppner supervised 48 Ph.D. students and 130 M.S. students, as well as over 200 undergraduate thesis and design projects. Even after his retirement in 2012, he continued to be a great supporter of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the university.

Hoeppner received dozens of awards and honors over his career. In 2005 he was awarded the Utah Governor’s Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Science & Technology, recognizing distinguished service, significant achievement, and positive economic impact of individuals and companies in the state of Utah.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to The David W. and Sue M. Hoeppner Scholarship Fund at the at the University of Utah Department of Mechanical Engineering, supporting women and students of color pursuing a mechanical engineering degree. Memorial donations can be made at www.coe.utah.edu/hoeppner, by calling 801-581-6825, or by mailing a check to the University of Utah, P.O. Box 58006, Salt Lake City, UT 84158-0006.

His full obituary is available here.